With January winding down and February approaching, it’s time to get into fantasy baseball mode.
As we go through February and head towards March and everyone’s fantasy draft, we will start pumping out more fantasy articles in preparation.
Today, we will take a look at five guys who had their fantasy value drop and in some cases, plummet because events that happened in this offseason.
Here are the top-five fantasy losers from this offseason and guys you might want to stay away from on draft day.
Rankings are in no particular order.
1. Rafael Soriano, New York Yankees. Soriano was a machine in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He had a 1.73 ERA, O.83 WHIP, and really helped fantasy owners out with 45 saves.
Depending on the format of your league, Soriano was the third or fourth best fantasy closer last season.
Now, unless Mariano Rivera gets hurt in The Bronx, Soriano has very little fantasy value heading into 2011 as a setup man.
2. Bobby Jenks, Boston Red Sox. Like Soriano above, Jenks was a closer last season and now finds himself as a setup man.
Despite having and up and down year with the White Sox in 2010, he did have 27 saves and 61 K’s in 52.2 IP.
Even if current Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon does continue to regress and get replaced, Jenks isn’t guaranteed to pick up the majority of the saves in Boston.
He still has to perform better than Daniel Bard to have that opportunity.
3. Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals. In most leagues, Werth was a top-10 outfielder in 2010 when he .296 with 27 HR’s, 85 RBI, 106 runs, and 13 SB’s.
But that was with the Philadelphia Phillies, playing the majority of his games in the very hitter friendly Citizens Bank Ballpark, and being surrounded by the likes of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, and Jimmy Rollins.
Now, outside of Ryan Zimmerman, Werth doesn’t have much around him. I expect his numbers to take a slight dip in 2011 and Werth moving from a top-10 outfielder to a top-15-to-20 outfielder.
4. Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers. I like Moreland, I really do. I am a big fan. He hit nine HR’s with the Rangers last season in just 173 plate appearances.
If you take what he did over an 162 game schedule, Moreland was on a 31 HR, 86 RBI, 86 BB pace. Those stats would have made Moreland a top-15 fantasy first baseman in 2010.
Up until last week, I thought Moreland could have been a top-15 fantasy first baseman in 2011.
But now that Mike Napoli is in the mix, I don’t believe Moreland is going to get the AB’s he needs to be able to produce on a consistent basis. Now he ranks in the 25-30 range amongst first baseman.
5. Mike Cameron, Boston Red Sox. Cameron didn’t do much last season as an injury limited him to only 49 games.
When the 2010 season ended, Cameron figured he would get his centerfield job back. But now that the Red Sox have signed Carl Crawford, Cameron is the odd man out in Boston.
If Cameron was healthy and the everyday centerfielder for Boston in 2011, 20-25 HR’s and 10-15 SB’s wouldn’t have been out of the question.
He would have been a serviceable OF on your fantasy team. Now he will play only a couple of days a week and unless Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury or J.D. Drew get hurt (very likely with Drew), Cameron has very little fantasy value.
Tomorrow, we will take a look at the top-five fantasy winners from this offseason.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg